Sunday, December 16, 2018

Long Road Back Focuses on Moving Ahead to the Future



Late Sunday afternoon, I walked onto the Channel 3 set to chat with sports anchor Bryan Salmond and I couldn't believe the giant photos in the slide show that were as big as the room's back wall.



I gasped to myself when I saw my battered face that occupied a major section of the set's wall as part of the slide show.


I've come a long way since March 7, 2017 when a distracted motorist slammed into me, nearly killing me near Fort Pierce on Florida's east coast about 2 1/2 hours north of Miami. The size of photo caught me off guard.

It was a great experience to chat with Bryan at Channel 3.  Please click here to see the segment, Thank you Bryan for allowing me to tell my story.



It's been three weeks since the finished book I wrote on my comeback, return to Las Vegas and launch of LVSportsBiz.com  arrived at my Las Vegas home and promoting and selling, Long Road Back to Las Vegas: How Las Vegas and the Golden Knights healed a journalist's wounds.

In just the past few weeks, I enjoyed selling the book to friends in Tampa and Vero Beach, Fla. at book signings, reading a touching Facebook post by Vegas Golden Knights press box announcer Doug Marsh here in the Las Vegas area and a soaking up a touching review of the book by talented North Carolina writer Willie Drye.

Here's Doug Marsh's post:

Even Cameron Hughes, the sports arena fan igniter. offered a lovely and short review of the book:  "Great read. Inspiring! Full circle magic."

In addition, there was a fun time had by all talking LVSportsBiz.com and the book with Las Vegas sport radio personalities Brian Shapiro and Jason Dick -- We had a great time talking on their 6-8PM radio show on 720AM in Las Vegas.

It's been great talking one-on-one with people at book signings. The next book signing is set for Saturday Dec. 22 at the Giant Las Vegas bike shop in Summerlin at 2283 Rampart Blvd. Here's a flier for the book signing, which will follow the Giant Las Vegas Santa Hat Bike Ride.

Support people who write books by buying their books.

Long Road Back is $12 if you buy the book in person at a book signing and $16 if you would like me to ship you a copy. Email me at asnel@LVSportsBiz.com to arrange buying a book.

Or, you can buy the book on Amazon here.



Monday, December 3, 2018


When I inform people that a motorist rammed his car into me from behind on a quiet two-lane road in Florida, nearly claiming my life in March 2017, they ask, “What was the driver charged with by police?”

They assume there must be some type of negligent driving citation – especially when the motorist admitted to the deputy officer shortly after 8 a.m. March 7 that he didn’t see me in the roadway because he diverted his attention from the road to seeking his breathing inhaler in Chevy Cruze.

But the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office never issued a ticket to driver Dennis Brophy for slamming his car into me as I bicycled on a road in a small town called St. Lucie Village near Fort Pierce on Florida’s East Coast.

The anger and bitterness of a police agency not citing a motorist for hitting me with his car, causing two broken vertebra, a bad concussion (a helmet saved me) and a battered right leg helped fueled my motivation to write a book about the recovery and my return to Las Vegas to start a business-news website covering Las Vegas’ expanding sports industry.



I was back in Florida for my nephew’s wedding this past weekend. And I took the opportunity to also weave in book signings in Tampa and Vero Beach and make a pit stop off I-95 that I did not plan.

It was a spur-of-the-moment decision in my way to the airport in Orlando to drop in on the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office administration building on Midway Road, about 10 minutes east of the interstate.
  
I thought I would give a book to the sheriff with an inscription that asked for an apology for never giving a ticket to a motorist who nearly killed me.
  
I went to the information desk and I asked to talk with the deputy sitting behind the protective, transparent barrier.
  
Deputy Alex Feola left his chair and came around the information booth to chat with me in the sheriff’s office lobby.

Feola was polite and professional. He looked like a fit 50-something and was disarming in his talking style. He was also empathetic. He shared that he understood the pain of knowing what it’s like to be hit by a car and not receive justice.

The deputy said his niece was killed by a drunk driver in Martin County with the driver avoiding jail time with an insanity defense that he said he was bought by the judge. He noted the killer of his brother’s daughter ended up in a home in Port St. Lucie, the biggest city in St. Lucie County, which is about two hours north of Miami.

Feola, as it turned out, was also a former New Yorker. He was from the Bronx before moving to St. Lucie County some 35 years ago, while I was born in Brooklyn and moved to Florida to work for the Palm Beach Post to report on the city of Port St. Lucie in 1994.

I explained to the deputy that I don’t harbor a grudge or any sense of vengeance, but I would like Sheriff Ken Mascara to read my book and get back to me about why a distracted driver who smashed into me while I bicycled March 7, 2017 did not even receive a ticket for failing to pass a bicyclist by a minimum distance of three feet – which is law in Florida.

Feola had a calming presence about him and we chatted for about 15 minutes or so. It was a good conversation and I gave him my LVSportsBiz.com business card, which he tucked inside the book. I wrote my number on the business card and Feola said the sheriff may call.

He said I survived the crash to continue my work, while I offered my condolences for losing a niece who had her whole life in front of her at 23 years old.

It was a respectful conversation. But I wonder if I’ll ever hear from the sheriff.

Monday, September 25, 2017

My High 5 Products at Interbike 2017 -- Last One in Las Vegas

It was sad to see Interbike say adios to Las Vegas last week. There was a subdued vibe to the entire week, a quiet acknowledgement for the fate of the national bicycle trade show heading to Reno in 2018.

But Bicycle Stories enjoyed re-connecting with old bikey friends and seeing products. Las year Bicycle Stories inaugurated its Top 5 list of products that caught my eye and here is that list.

1. Athlos Sports custom bike gear. Dave Manchester took my friend Malanda Schmitz's artwork of my dog Pugsy and made it into a wonderful LVSportsBiz.com bike jersey.  Check out Athos at its website.



2. After a car crashed into me from behind in March, I have made it a priority to use a mirror when bicycling. I first used a mirror that I mounted on my sunglasses. Now I use a much bigger mirror that offers me a good look at what is behind me thank to a sample mirror given to me by Brett Flemming of Efficient Velo Tools of Portland, OR. I mounted Brett's mirror on my bike helmet with only two ties and it's part of my daily bike ride. Check Efficient Velo at its website here. There's Brett.


And there's the mirror attached to the helmet.



3. There are some good bike socks out there. My favorite socks come from Darn Tough of Vermont. Check out their socks at their website here. They make socks for all sports.


4. I snacked on protein bars made by RxBar. They're from Chicago and it's probably the healthiest food in that city. I met the RxBar reps at last Monday's Outdoor Demo and saw them again at the trade show. Check out the RxBars at their website here.


5. My final product of Las Vegas is the Scooterboard, an electric three-wheeled skateboard with a single-handed handle that looks like it would be a nice device to get around densely-populated areas to get to class, home, work or the store. It's a 22-pounder with top speed of 15.5 mph and has a range of 7.5 miles on a single charge. The charge takes about 2.5 hours. Its owner is Rose Wang, a go-getter with a can-do attitude. She impressed me with her tenacity and kickstarter skills. The kickstarter is live through Sept. 28. Good luck Rose. Check her product out at its website.

See you in Reno.

Good-bye Interbike Las Vegas. Last scene as I left Friday at 2 p.m.



















Thursday, September 21, 2017

Choose Athlos Sports for your Custom Bicycle Jerseys and Athletic Apparel

I first met Dave Manchester of Athlos Sports apparel a year ago at the Interbike media preview show and we immediately clicked.

Dave is a super customer-friendly guy who is great at working with customers to tailor make any bike jersey, cap or sports clothing you want.

Dave shepherded this cool LVSportsBiz.com Pugsy bicycle jersey through at Athlos and it's been the hit of the Interbike trade show in Las Vegas.


To check out the Athlos website, just click here for all the info you need.

I was so charged by seeing the LVSportsBiz.com Pugsy bike jersey Wednesday that I donned it for a morning ride today through Red Rock Canyon.



If you're at Interbike, swing by the Athlos exhibitor booth and Dave will be there to field your questions. He's a great guy and easy to work with.

Thank you Dave and Athlos.

The Art of the Pug -- Thank you Malanda

Some of you may recognize the gorgeous and talented Pugsy artwork on the cool, new LVSportsBiz.com Pugsy bicycle jersey unveiled yesterday.

I was so stoked to see Malanda Schmitz's artwork on a bicycle jersey that I donned the jersey for a bike ride through Red Rock Canyon this morning.

That's the work of my talented friend and artist, Malanda, who lives with her hockey-savvy husband Karl in Safety Harbor, Fla. and who has a downtown St. Petersburg art studio.

When I say Malanda is gifted, I literally mean it because this generous woman gave me a gift I will treasure forever -- a beautiful and expressive portrait of Pugsy.


Don't take my word about Malanda's immense artistic talent and giving spirit -- look for yourself. Check her beautiful artwork on her website.

I strongly recommend Malanda for your dog portraits or any wildlife and outdoors paintings. See her beautiful work on Facebook: Malanda Art of Life

And thank you Dave Manchester of Athlos Sports for putting together Malanda's great artwork into a bike jersey I will cherish forever. More on Dave and Athlos in a different post.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Cooling Off In The Mountains With Great Views Too



With the launch of LVSportsBiz.com, I have not written on my Bicycle Stories blog for a while.

But this morning's ride at Mt. Charleston involved some major climbing and beautiful views.






It also was much cooler at 8,000 feet than in the Vegas Valley.


A great experience.




Saturday, June 17, 2017

Bicyclists, Family, Friends Pay Respects To Kayvan In Vegas' First Ghost Bike Ceremony



Kayvan Khiabani's son said it all at the ghost bike ceremony for his dad a day before Father's Day.

There are no excuses for all the deaths of bicyclists in the Las Vegas area. His words hit home for the hundreds of bicyclists who gathered this morning to pay their respects to Dr. Khiabani, a respected surgeon at UMC who was killed while bicycling near Red Rock Resort about two months ago in Summerlin, a Vegas suburb.

A white ghost bike now stands in memory of Kayvan -- a dad, a husband, a doctor and yes, a guy who loved riding a bicycle.

Bicyclist Pat Treichel, a friend who I am enjoying to know better by the day, put together a group called Ghost Bikes Las Vegas to show that people who have lost their lives on a bicycle are human beings first.

We're brothers and sisters and parents and children and co-workers and your neighbors.

Think of bicyclists not as people on two-wheels but people loved by so many when you motor your car near us.

Pat put together a touching and moving ceremony to honor the memory of Kayvan and his speech before our short ride before he helped erect the white-painted ghost bike the was filled with emotion and common sense and decency and humanity.



And the message Pat brought to us was simple -- we all need to change the way we do our business on the roads that we all share as motorist and bicyclist alike.

He appealed to bicyclists to set the example to be courteous and compliant with our road laws and he spoke to kids to look for folks on two wheels when they're in a car.

Maybe 500 people on bicycles and two legs pedaled and walked the short distance from our meeting point in a suburban shopping district parking lot to the location where a bus killed Kayvan near Red Rock Resort at Pavilion Center Drive and Griffiths Peak Drive.

We pedaled slowly and respectfully -- and it was a powerful and emotionally-binding tour de force.





Pat towed Kayvan's ghost bike, and we ended at the installation site. It was there where the white bike was bolted to a sign post.

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Sadly, Pat and his group have more ghost bikes to install. I will post blog reports when those are scheduled.